Hands with watch and lab coat holding a hand over a white desk. Clipboard with fountain pen on desk.

Trigger finger is a condition where the flexor tendon that bends the digit becomes impinged as it glides under a pulley. The flexor tendons are held against the bones by a pulley system, and glide underneath those pulleys. When the flexor tendons begin to catch on a pulley, commonly the first annular pulley, there is a clicking or triggering as the finger straightens out. As the condition progresses, straightening the finger becomes more difficult and can be associated with pain, and eventually an inability to straighten the digit.

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Is this surgery right for me?

There are different treatments for trigger finger. The first stage might include resting that particular hand or wearing a splint. This may be all that is required to relieve your symptoms. If you have tried conservative management or it is not an option for you, then you may be interested in a steroid injection into the region, or surgery (trigger finger release).

All of the therapies aim to achieve the same goal – to avoid the tendon catching on the pulley. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we discuss this with you and aim to help guide you with your decision making process.

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Two hands with little fingers intertwined.

What does the procedure
journey look like?

To begin your journey at Tailored Plastic Surgery, you will typically have an initial consultation to discuss your goals and see how we can help you. After a second consultation and a cooling-off period of one week, if you wish to proceed, we will schedule the surgery on a date that suits you. We will discuss the steps you need to take in the lead-up to your surgery, and also on the day of your procedure.

After the procedure, you will likely have a dressing on the wound which should be kept clean and dry. Specific instructions will be given to you after the procedure. You may experience some discomfort a number of hours after the procedure once the effects of the local anaesthetic wear off, and these are usually easily addressed with pain medications that can be purchased over the counter at supermarkets or pharmacies. You should be able to go home on the same day.

You should be able to return to work within one or two weeks depending on what your regular occupation is. We advise against strenuous physical activity and exercise within the first two weeks.

Four phases of plastic surgery journey. Phase 1: 1 hour consultation to discuss goals. Phase 2: Book and prepare for your surgery. Phase 3: 1 day, the procedure. Phase 4: 6-8 weeks post surgery, the recovery.

Procedure Risks

Percutaneous release is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat conditions such as trigger finger or carpal tunnel syndrome. While there are fewer risks than traditional open surgery, there are still some potential risks and complications, including:

Nerve or Tendon Injury:

There is a small risk of inadvertently damaging nearby nerves or tendons during the percutaneous release procedure. This can result in temporary or, rarely, permanent sensory changes, weakness, or impaired hand function.


As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Following proper postoperative care instructions and maintaining good hygiene can help minimise this risk.


Occasionally, a collection of blood (hematoma) may occur at the site of the procedure. This can cause swelling, discomfort, and, in rare cases, may require drainage.

Still unsure? Here are some FAQs..

How long after my procedure will I see an improvement in my symptoms?

Most people feel relief in their symptoms as soon as the local anaesthetic wears off, with no further triggering. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we are here to guide you through your procedure and the post-operative journey.

Can I have A trigger finger release if I haven’t tried non-surgical treatments first?

At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we believe that everyone’s journey is unique to them, and therefore, what may work for one person may not be appropriate for another. We will discuss your concerns and goals with you, and then work on a treatment pathway together with you, to best help you in your particular circumstances.

Will I have a scar?

Any time you have surgery that affects all the layers of the skin, a scar is formed. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we are experienced in techniques that aim to both minimise any scarring, as well as hide the scarring in less noticeable places.

Is there anything I should do before my appointment?

Before your appointment, you may wish to try non-operative treatments, including wearing a splint.